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Album Review: Tegan and Sara - Get Along

Having spent the past few years playing sell-out shows to audiences that are mainstream in terms of their scale yet exude all the passion and dedication of a cult following, Tegan and Sara don’t have much to prove at this point. With that in mind, 'Get Along' is more of a gift to the fans that have stuck with them through their thirteen-year journey so far rather than an effort to reach out and grab more. Released as a CD/DVD package, 'Get Along' dives into the duo’s time on the road over two separate documentaries, as well as featuring live footage of an intimate show played at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver before a small audience of fans, friends, and family. The CD part of the combo is purely the audio content from said Vancouver show, and mostly, it manages to uphold the brooding ambience of its DVD counterpart – complete with dim lighting and an entirely black wardrobe – but without the intrigue and the sensitivity of the visual performance, you may find that the audio alone occasionally falls flat.

In terms of live releases, the absence of visual footage does not necessarily mean that the audio has to lack in emotion as a result (Dashboard Confessional’s MTV Unplugged performance in particular serves as a testament to that), but a certain energy does have to carry itself from one to the other, particularly when the tracks have been stripped back to a mainly acoustic set. With 'Get Along', Tegan and Sara do manage to translate a certain kind of energy, albeit a subdued one. The fifteen-track setlist is a pleasantly even and carefully selected mix of songs from all five albums, sandwiched neatly between two tracks from their latest LP Sainthood – ‘Alligator’ and ‘Sentimental Tune’ – both of which are particular highlights of this release. The pace moves steadily and with soft footsteps from start to finish, which compliments songs such as ‘Divided’ and ‘Back In Your Head’ that benefit from the gentle and minimal arrangements, but occasionally falls flat during moments where the acoustic transition leaves spaces that can’t be entirely filled by vocals alone.

Regardless, Tegan and Sara have an undeniable capability for writing genuinely great songs with beautiful melodies and catchy hooks, and this framework will always stand strong even where the embellishments may fall short. From stunning harmonies to striped tops, bittersweet sentiments to asymmetrical haircuts, everything Tegan and Sara do is a shared effort. Their tone and charming vocal lilts are cut from the same cloth, but their similarities also highlight their differences, however slight, and the delicate interplay of the two is something that has, and always will shine through on each of their releases, particularly in this case where their performance is captured so acutely, slights and strains included. In essence, 'Get Along' is a thoughtful and intimate gift to their fans – a bookmark carefully placed at the end of a pivotal chapter in Tegan and Sara’s story as they now move on to write the rest.


'Get Along' is out now.

Emma Garland

Alter The Press!